Where is Texans DT Ross Blacklock with his development?

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Mark Lane
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Defensive tackle was a need for the Houston Texans in the offseason, and they chose to fill the void by going in a younger direction.

With their second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Houston selected defensive tackle Ross Blacklock from TCU to ostensibly replaced D.J. Reader, who left in free agency to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals. While Blacklock was given leeway as a rookie with no offseason to fully integrate into life in the NFL, the expectation for Blacklock to be an effective interior defensive lineman as Reader was for four seasons.

Defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver provided insight as to where Blacklock is in his development.

“Ross has just scratched, obviously, just scratched the surface in what he can potentially be,” Weaver said. “He is still very much a rookie and there are times where it shows on tape. He flashes his ability and you know it’s there.”

The former Fort Bend Elkins product has contributed with 10 combined tackles, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hit in 13 games.

According to Weaver, what Blacklock has to improve is his consistency, which is usually an issue for budding talent.

“For him it’s just a matter on consistency,” said Weaver. “Now, that has nothing to do with his work ethic. At some point that lightbulb’s going to go off and we hope to see the dynamic, dominant player that we drafted him to be. Right now he’s just going through some rookie growing pains, which they all are, but he is going to be a good player because he does care and he does put the effort that’s required to be that.”

If the Texans can get Blacklock to meet expectations in his second year, it will help provide a solid defensive interior as Houston will seek to bury the disappointment of 2020 in the club’s 20th season.